20 Aug 2009 14:42

Supplementary essential drug system regulations to be issued soon - MoH

Shanghai. August 20. INTERFAX-CHINA - China will soon issue a series of supplementary regulations following the recent release of the updated essential drug list, which mostly comprises of commonly purchased generic drugs that patients receive reimbursements for under their medical insurance, a Ministry of Health (MoH) official said at a press conference in Beijing on Aug. 20.

According to Zheng Hong, director of the MoH's pharmaceutical policy and essential drug system division, the MoH and several other government agencies will jointly issue supplementary regulations to facilitate the implementation of the essential drug system such as opinions on the procurement and distribution of essential drugs, measures guiding the use of essential drugs in medical institutions as well as methods on the quality supervision of essential drugs.

Zheng also noted that the retail price adjustment for essential drugs is expected to be complete before the end of November this year.

In promoting the use of essential drugs, China will be releasing guidelines on the clinical application of essential drugs and an essential drug formulary, Zheng said.

On the provincial level, each province will draft measures on the procurement and distribution of essential drugs. Provincial governments can also approve a separate list of non-essential drugs recommended for use in grassroots medical institutions. "This is to take into consideration the state of economic development and drug use habits across different provinces," Zheng said.

Local health authorities will stipulate the level of essential drug use in public hospitals to support the trial public hospital reform, with the proportion to be computed upon each hospital's total drug sales revenue, according to Zheng.

"It will be challenging for health authorities to try stipulate the level of essential drug use in medical institutions. However, as long as the system can help to reduce overall drug prices to an extent, it can be regarded as having accomplished its goals," Lian Leyao, a pharmaceutical analyst from Minsheng Securities, told Interfax on Aug. 20.